On January 27, 2023, Officials of the Ministry of Equity, Social Justice, and Empowerment and the United Nation’s World Food Programme (WFP), affixed their signatures to a new Technical Assistance Agreement (TAA).
Under the watchful eye of Minister Hon. Joachim Henry, signing on behalf of the Ministry was Permanent Secretary Velda Octave-Joseph, while Country Director and Representative at the Multi-country Office in Barbados Regis Chapman, represented WFP.
The aim of the TAA is to support the efforts of the Government of Saint Lucia to strengthen its social protection system, in a bid to make it more comprehensive and responsive to natural hazards and other shocks.
This TAA builds on previous cooperation between the Ministry of Equity and WFP which facilitated the implementation of several projects during the period 2020-March 2022.
Projects undertaken included a temporary expansion of the Public Assistance Programme (PAP); a monthly top-up to assist 79 persons living with HIV to support them with their most essential needs for 12 months, and support to the Ministry to strengthen Saint Lucia’s social protection system in response to shocks through
1) The development of a household vulnerability index which can analyze factors that make a household vulnerable to the impacts of hazards;
2) A cash assistance pilot, following Hurricane Elsa, to support vulnerable households impacted and to test the new vulnerability index and digital payments; and
3) Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to standardize processes and close any operational gaps among the agencies involved in shock-responsive social protection.
Through training and skills transfer, the new Technical Assistance Agreement will facilitate direct support to strengthen the Ministry’s capacity in the areas of Vulnerability Analysis, Livelihoods Analysis, Data Management, GIS Mapping, Digitalization and Digital Payments, among others.
The Agreement remains in effect until 31 December 2024.
SOURCE: Ministry of Equity , Social Justice, and Empowerment